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Giants, Oracle agree to naming rights deal

MLB.com @sfgiantsbeat

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants believe that their 20-year corporate partnership with Oracle, which was officially announced Thursday, will enable them to adjust to any relevant changes in technology.

Giants president and CEO Larry Baer, speaking during a news conference at the ballpark -- which is now known as Oracle Park after 13 seasons as AT&T Park -- offered an example of what the future will bring by the time this agreement expires.

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants believe that their 20-year corporate partnership with Oracle, which was officially announced Thursday, will enable them to adjust to any relevant changes in technology.

Giants president and CEO Larry Baer, speaking during a news conference at the ballpark -- which is now known as Oracle Park after 13 seasons as AT&T Park -- offered an example of what the future will bring by the time this agreement expires.

"We joked that in 2038, Giants fans will be able to take flying cars from Redwood Shores (site of Oracle's headquarters) to Oracle Park," Baer said.

Tweet from @SFGiants: New name, same incredible ballpark. Welcome to Oracle Park!#SFGiants pic.twitter.com/fpaDc7kzLp

Bloomberg News reported that the agreement brought the Giants $200 million; the San Francisco Chronicle estimated that the accord could be worth between $300 million and $350 million. Though financial terms were not disclosed, Baer indicated that the deal was more than worthwhile for the Giants.

"It gives us additional security, stability and strength," Baer said, as well as "the confidence that you can take some risks in the future."

That doesn't mean that the Giants will spend Oracle's money on extravagances such as high-priced free agents. It does indicate, however, that the Giants could use the capital for ballpark improvements and analytics-related expenditures to help baseball operations president Farhan Zaidi and his staff.

"There's a Farhan component to this," Baer said.

There's also a Bay Area component. The Giants embraced the notion of aligning themselves with a group that's based near Silicon Valley, the nerve center of computer technology growth.

Said Baer, "We're the San Francisco Giants. We're in the center of technology. We're in the center of innovation. To be able to partner with a company in that world really is important."

"There's so much we can do together for the community and for the team," Oracle CEO Mark Hurd said.

The Giants and Oracle experienced a whirlwind courtship. AT&T, which Baer called a "great partner," informed the Giants in October that it preferred not to extend or initiate any naming-rights commitments beyond its Dallas base. AT&T's purchases of Time Warner and DIRECTV left the company $130 million in debt, prompting its scaled-back approach.

The Giants immediately sought a new naming-rights partner, but didn't conduct their first meeting with Oracle until Nov. 26.

"We worked at hyperspeed to put something together," Baer said.

Baer expressed optimism about completing changes in signage from AT&T Park to Oracle Park, which already had begun Thursday. He hinted that some signs, such as those in suburban areas or along public transit lines, might take longer to replace.

The bayside ballpark received its fourth name. It was christened in 2000 as Pacific Bell Park and became SBC Park in '04. That was changed to AT&T Park two years later. Legendary center fielder Willie Mays, acknowledged as the greatest Giant of all time, attended Thursday's news conference, thus lending the event a sense of history. Giants special assistant Dusty Baker, who managed the club when the ballpark opened in 2000, also attended the news conference.

Chris Haft has covered the Major Leagues since 1991 and has worked for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat.

San Francisco Giants